#AppleTeacher vinyl stickers (2020)

Beginning in 2017, Apple Education created a program for teachers to learn Mac, iPad, and Apple apps in the context of classroom lessons and activities. Coding uses for the classroom were added later. The Apple Teacher program uses a series of “Everyone Can Create” and “Everyone Can Code” books (free downloads from Apple’s Book Store).

Teachers may take short online quizzes to earn badges in categories including: iPad, Pages for iPad, Keynote for iPad, Numbers for iPad, iMovie for iPad, GarageBand for iPad, Productivity with iPad, Creativity with iPad, Mac, Pages for Mac, Keynote for Mac, Numbers for Ma, iMovie for Mac, GarageBand for Mac, Productivity with Mac, Creativity with Mac, Coding Concepts, Swift Playgrounds App, Swift Code, and Coding in the Classroom.

According to Apple’s website:

“Apple Teacher is a free professional learning program designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an educator you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things you learn, and be rewarded for the great work you do every day.”

These vinyl stickers are printed with the hashtag #AppleTeacher (in Apple’s San Francisco font) in a variety of colors. These were available at technology conferences for attendees who visited the Apple “Playground” to learn about the Everyone Can Create and Everyone Can Code programs for schools. Each sticker sheet measures 1.125 x 5 inches. Removed from the backing they measure approximately 0.625 x 4.625 inches.

I earned the Mac and iPad Apple Teacher badges the first week the program launched.

Sources: Apple, Apple Teacher

Apple Watch Solo Loop (44mm, Size 12, White, 2020)

The Solo Loop Apple Watch band was released in 2020 along with the Apple Watch Series 6. The packaging describes this product as a “Silicone Fitted Band.” According to Apple’s website:

“Made from liquid silicone rubber, the Solo Loop features a unique, stretchable design with no clasps, buckles, or overlapping parts that’s ultracomfortable to wear and easy to slip on and off your wrist. Each band is specially treated with UV to give the band a silky, smooth finish. It’s also swim proof and sweat proof so it can go just about anywhere you want to wear it.”

This band is White, and was also available at release in Pink Citrus, Deep Navy, Cypress Green, Ginger, Black, and (PRODUCT)RED. It was available in 40mm and 44mm widths, and was among the first Apple Watch bands to be sold in specific wrist sizes. The 40mm Solo Loop was sold in wrist sizes 1–9 and the 44mm Solo Loop was sold in wrist sizes 4–12.

According to Apple’s website, “This band comes in custom sizes because it’s designed for an ultracomfortable fit. An accurate measurement will help you get the size that’s right for you.” The website allowed buyers to download a PDF and cut out a “tool” that wrapped around the wrist to designate the band size needed.

This snug-fitting design allowed the Apple Watch Series 6 sensors to retain constant and consistent skin contact, allowing accurate blood oxygen and heart rate measurements to be maintained.

Source: Apple

Apple Watch Series 6 (Black Unity, 44mm, GPS, 2020)

The Black Unity Apple Watch was Apple’s first “limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6” and was described as being part of a collection including the watch, the Black Unity Sport Band, and a Unity watch face.

Apple described the Black Unity Watch: “Inspired by the colors of the Pan‑African flag, the Black Unity Collection celebrates a symbol that unites people across the African Diaspora. Apple supports organizations dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice.”

The Apple Watch Series 6 was nearly identical to the Series 5 models, but the Series 6 added some new internal features: faster chip, a new Blood Oxygen sensor (SpO2), and an altimeter that was always on. Like all previous Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch Series 6 uses a Digital Crown and a touch display. The screen is OLED at 368×448.

On Apple’s product page dedicated to the Black Unity Apple Watch, detailed information was provided about the design and symbolism behind the watch:

“Designed by Black creatives and allies throughout Apple to celebrate and acknowledge Black history and culture, the Black Unity Sport Band is inspired by the colors of the Pan-African flag and pays homage to the rich tradition and craft of quilt-making. Three individual pieces of colored fluoroelastomer are assembled by hand and compression-molded as one. Complemented by the dynamic Unity watch face, which displays an ever-changing pattern of irregular shapes as Apple Watch moves, these colors are brought together in a unique tapestry. The innovative pin-and-tuck closure is laser-etched with ‘Truth. Power. Solidarity.'”

Like Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED efforts to provide charitable donations in support of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, Apple took this opportunity to show support for organizations dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice:

  • Black Lives Matter Support Fund via the Tides Foundation—The Black Lives Matter movement fuels campaigns for justice, combats and counters acts of violence, and creates space for Black imagination and innovation.
  • European Network Against Racism (ENAR)—ENAR, a pan-European anti-racism network, is the voice of the anti-racist movement in Europe.
  • International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights—The institute works to protect the human rights of marginalized and vulnerable people who suffer from discrimination.
  • Leadership Conference Education Fund—The Leadership Conference Education Fund promotes and protects civil and human rights and builds public education campaigns that empower and mobilize advocates around the United States.
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)—LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice to fulfill the promise of equality for all Americans.
  • Souls Grown Deep—The partnership is dedicated to promoting the work of African American artists and supporting their communities by fostering economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement.

Source: Everymac, Apple (Watch, press release)

Apple Watch Leather Link (44mm, M/L, Black, 2020)

The Apple Watch Leather Link was an Apple Watch band released in 2020. The design is similar to the previous Leather Loop design. While the Leather Loop included a metal “eye,” the Leather Link is held solely by magnets.

Apple describes the Leather Link:

“The Leather Link features handcrafted Roux Granada leather made in France. The strap elegantly wraps around the wrist and magically attaches with flexible moulded magnets that gently flex to help maintain a secure, comfortable fit throughout the day.”

When released, the Leather Link was available in Baltic Blue, California Poppy, Saddle Brown, and Black. It came in sizes including 40mm in S/M (130–160mm wrists) and M/L (140–180mm wrists), and 44mm in S/M (140–180mm wrists) and M/L (165–205mm wrists). This example is a Black 44mm, M/L Leather Link.

Source: Apple

Apple Watch Sport Loop (44mm, Kumquat, 2020)

The Apple Watch Sport Loop band was woven from nylon thread to create a hook-and-loop closure. These bands were available for the 38/40mm and 42/44mm Apple Watch models, and were offered in a size to fit 130–190mm wrists.

Beginning around 2018, Sport Loop designs were comprised of a base color and one or more accent colors. This Kumquat band uses an orange base color with edges accented in dark green and dark blue. In addition, the plastic connectors are orange while the closure plastic is dark blue.

Apple described the Apple Watch Sport Loop band:

“Soft, breathable, and lightweight, the Sport Loop features a hook-and-loop fastener for quick and easy adjustment. The double-layer nylon weave has dense loops on the skin side that provide soft cushioning while allowing moisture to escape. On the reverse side, the attachment loops are securely anchored for superior durability.”

Beginning in 2020 Apple began including a Band Compatibility statement on its website:

“You can match most bands with any Apple Watch Series 3 or newer case of the same size. (For Apple Watch Series 3, the 40mm band works with the 38mm case; the 44mm band works with the 42mm case.) The Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop bands are only compatible with Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 or newer. The 40mm case works with band sizes 1–9; the 44mm case works with band sizes 4–12.”

Source: Apple

Apple Logo Stickers (Silver, 2020)

For as long I have purchased Apple products, and even before the original Macintosh in 1984, Apple has included stickers in its devices featuring the Apple logo. I have examples in my collection of Apple logo stickers from before the Macintosh in the early-1980s.

I added these stickers in late 2020 when the new M1 Macs were released. These stickers were included with the M1 MacBook Air laptop in Space Gray.

See my full Apple sticker collection at:
http://mattjfuller.com/apple-logo-stickers-1980s-present/

HomePod mini (white, 2020)

The HomePod mini was the second device in Apple’s HomePod line of intelligent, Siri-controlled speakers. Despite its small size and relatively low price, the HomePod mini offered impressive sound quality. Apple described the HomePod mini: “Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle.”

Apple designed the HomePod mini to allow homes to use multiple devices:

“With multiple HomePod mini speakers placed around the house, you can have a connected sound system for your whole home. Ask Siri to play one song everywhere or, just as easily, a different song in each room. And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom. If you want to take the amazing sound experience of HomePod mini even further, you can create a stereo pair. Two HomePod mini speakers paired in the same room create left and right channels for an immersive soundstage.”

The HomePod mini was spherical with a flat top and bottom. It measured 3.3 inches high and 3.9 inches wide. Internally, it used four microphones and allowed real-time tuning through computational audio. The HomePod mini had no ports and connected wirelessly to audio sources including Apple Music, iTunes music purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, and some third-party services. In addition, it could play content from any device that allowed AirPlay streaming (AirPlay 2). Wireless technology included 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The top of the device provided a backlit touch surface for certain controls: Tap to Play/Pause music or Siri; Double-tap to Skip; Triple-tap to Skip back; Touch and hold to access Siri; and Tap or hold + or – to control Volume up/down. The HomePod mini was available in black and white. This example is white.

I ordered this particular HomePod soon after it was released. While Apple packaging is well-known for its attention to detail, even the mailing box seemed to have received the Apple packaging treatment. The outer cardboard box featured a wraparound pull-tab that separated the box halves with no need for a tape-cutting blade. Once removed, the inner retail box was revealed which, surprisingly, was shrink-wrapped with no pull tab.

The AirPod mini used a permanently affixed USB-C cable and provided a 20W USB-C power adapter.

Source: Apple (Overview, Tech Specs)

iPhone 12 Pro Max Leather Case with MagSafe [(PRODUCT)RED, 2020]

The iPhone 12 Pro Max Leather Case with MagSafe was designed with built-in magnets to offer “a magical attach and detach experience, every time. The perfectly aligned magnets make wireless charging faster and easier than ever before. And when it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”

As with previous leather cases for the iPhone, Apple included, “Made from specially tanned and finished leather, the outside feels soft to the touch and develops a natural patina over time. The case quickly snaps into place and fits snugly over your iPhone without adding bulk.”

Although the color is listed as (PRODUCT)RED, the label on the packaging specifies “Scarlet.” Apple specified that the new MagSafe charger built into the case “will leave slight imprints,” and added: “If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use an iPhone 12 Pro Max Silicone or Clear Case.”

In the past, (PRODUCT)RED purchases benefitted AIDS research, but in 2020, Apple changed the charitable cause to COVID-19:

“When you buy the (PRODUCT)RED Leather Case with MagSafe, we will now send a contribution to the Global Fund to fight COVID-19. Your support can make all the difference.”

Source: Apple

MagSafe Charger (2020)

Apple’s MagSafe Charger was released in 2020 along with the iPhone 12 line of devices. All iPhone 12 models (iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max) had MagSafe charging capabilities and could use this MagSafe Charger. Upon release, only the iPhone 12 models benefitted from the “magnetic alignment experience.”

Apple’s website states:

“The MagSafe Charger makes wireless charging a snap. The perfectly aligned magnets attach to your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro and provide faster wireless charging up to 15W.
The MagSafe Charger maintains compatibility with Qi charging, so it can be used to wirelessly charge your iPhone 8 or later, as well as AirPods models with a wireless charging case, as you would with any Qi-certified charger.
The magnetic alignment experience only applies to iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models.
Recommended: 20W USB-C Power Adapter (sold separately)”

In my opinion, this product—and the MagSafe 2020 concept—is riddled with ambiguities.

The the past, the “MagSafe” name was used by Apple to refer to a power plug on Apple laptops. This name made perfect sense in that it used a magnet (“Mag-”) to safely (“-Safe”) attach to the computer. If someone accidentally tripped over a MagSafe power cord, the cord would safely detach and save the computer from dropping to the floor and/or harming the port built into the computer—an overall excellent solution.

However, the MagSafe system used on the iPhone 12 is not the same. While the 2020 version of MagSafe uses a magnet (“Mag-”), it is in no way “-Safe.” Instead, the charger grips so tightly that an accidental trip over the charging cord will send the iPhone 12 to the floor. Further, the Apple Wallet, a leather wallet designed to hold 2–3 credit cards that uses the MagSafe magnets, has been shown by reviewers to easily detach when slipped into a pocket. Thus, MagSafe 2020 is decidedly UN-Safe!

In addition, although this product is named a MagSafe Charger, it does not charge on its own because it does not include a power adapter. A more accurate name for this product would be a “MagSafe Charging Cable” since that is all it is. A very similar product, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, also does not ship with a power adapter; thus, it is appropriately named.

Other reviewers have criticized Apple for not including power adapters in the box along with products. Apple asserts that this decision makes the company more environmentally friendly. I am not criticizing Apple’s decisions or motives. I am, however, criticizing the name of this product on two accounts. First, it is inaccurate because it is not “-Safe,” either now or when compared to previous MagSafe products. And second, because the name of the product does not accomplish the implied purpose of the device by omitting a power adapter to make the product function.

Source: Apple

iPhone 12 Pro Max Clear Case (MagSafe, 2020)

When Apple introduced all of the iPhone 12 models, they included a new method of wireless charging with an old name: MagSafe. Originally used for laptop power cables that used a magnet to safely attach and prevent a laptop from accidentally falling to the floor from a cord trip, this version of MagSafe used a strong magnet that caused an iPhone to fall to the floor with a cord trip. Thus, it is unknown why Apple continued to use the “MagSafe” name when no safety features were offered.

The case was crystal clear, and Apple specified that it resisted yellowing. The pattern on the back of the clear case was a white open circle with a downward dash. The downward dash allowed a MagSafe charger or an iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe to attach with the magnet and align perfectly.

According to Apple:

“Thin, light, and easy to grip — this Apple-designed case shows off the brilliant colored finish of iPhone 12 Pro Max while providing extra protection. Crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials, the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied to both the interior and exterior. And all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time. With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 12 Pro Max, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”

This Clear Case is also pictured on an iPhone 12 Pro Max in Pacific Blue. Both items were purchased at the same time for my day-to-day use in November 2020.

Source: Apple